Contrary to what the world was bracing for when the WHO declared the Coronavirus a pandemic (think 2008-esque panic), the Real Estate market emerged above the shuttered businesses and quarantined establishments.

This was proven by tapping into a report shared by JLL Mena for Q1 2021, where prices for residential villas compared to last year saw a pleasant increase by 3.5% in Dubai and 2% in Abu Dhabi, with special emphasis on larger homes to accommodate remote work, home-schooling and an overall desire for a peaceful living experience. Developers did their part by making it easy to invest with hard-to-miss incentives such as easy payment plans, waived service fees, lower prices and opportunities to upgrade the space.

Regarding the global impact on property prices, the OECD Analytical House Price Database had some valuable insights. When data for the 37 wealthy countries that make up the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development was pulled up, it was observed that house prices rose by almost 7% between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the fourth quarter of 2020 — the fastest year-on-year growth in the past two decades.

OECD Analytical House Price Database

In terms of performance, Dubai’s general sale and rental rates continued to register declines of 5% and 10% respectively over the year. Meanwhile in Abu Dhabi, sale prices remained stable with rental rates registering average declines of 3-4%. On a positive note, lower sales prices yielded a 15% increase in sales volume for Dubai compared to the same period last year.

With the advent of the vaccine and the upcoming preparations for the EXPO, the UAE’s real estate market is expected to rebound and compensate for any dips that were seen during the past year.